The build

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The central intent of the project was that the app was a useful tool for customers. It was intended as a way to help them succeed with credit. After all, this is core purpose of the business. The most important thing we needed to deliver was the payment facility. However, other functionality was added incrementally after the initial release; things like payment alerts so customers didn’t fall behind with their payments.

There was also a complete UX redesign. This made it easier for us to add things and extend the app without having to resort to a complete redesign - which obviously helped us a lot. It also needed to be brought in line with the UX and UI guidelines that came from the US.

Ongoing development and maintenance of the app is another key focus for us. We have iOS and Android versions and we made a decision that these should be developed in tandem so there was a unity of experience across the two. We wanted the look, feel and function to be as similar as the different systems allowed.

Initially, we didn’t have the in-house expertise to be honest. We had people who were familiar with apps but no-one who had built one from the ground up. So it’s been a big learning experience for all of us – but that’s what attracted me in the first place. It’s about the culture of collaboration and shared experience as much as anything else. There is a very real freedom to explore over and above the day to day role. We’re not siloed. We work as one team towards one cohesive goal. It also helps that we can volunteer at the intent stage to be a feature champion. You can choose – or at least ask – to work on something that is of specific interest to you.

Essentially, our job as testers focuses on making sure the app behaves and functions as it should do. We anticipate problems at the design stage so these don’t become a bigger issue further down the line when they’ve become incorporated into the build. That being said, there was a lot involved in ensuring this was the case. That’s one of the best things about working here; you’re not limited by your job title; you get to do other stuff too. You get to look beyond your own immediate remit. We’re always developing and learning new stuff.  This project exemplifies this. As testers we got to help with development and write the tests required. For my own part, I worked beyond automation testing and took on a certain amount of development on the app, as well as getting involved in APIs and analysing business systems. Roles are becoming blurred. If you have the initiative to take things on, you’ll be given the freedom to just run with it.